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  • Meditation - Conscious Mental Rest

    (Abridged from here.)

    Conscious Mental Rest (CMR) has been developed by Gavin Hoole, an ex TM (Transcendental Meditation) practitioner. It falls in the family of Non-Directive Meditation (NDM) and is said to have similar level of relaxation-beyond-thought as TM (one of the first NDM's popularized in the West by director David Lynch).

    CMR is a 100% natural process of gaining profound rest for the mind-body system. The experience is sometimes referred to as just being — being awake, or conscious, yet without a lot of 'busy' mental activity. CMR allows the mind-body system to settle down and take time out from today's hectic life of incessant activity, noise and stress. It is experienced for about 25 to 30 minutes once or preferably twice a day.

    The benefits of this form of regular daily rest then flow naturally into our lives to provide an overall enhancement of our experience of life, health and happiness.

    Why is CMR© desirable?

    In practical terms, people who have experienced conscious mental rest regularly have reported improvements in various areas of their lives. Here are some of them:

    David Lynch's meditation poster.

    • more mental clarity and creativity
    • feeling less stressed
    • improved sleep patterns
    • greater happiness
    • a more relaxed way of handling difficult situations
    • improved energy levels
    • greater self-confidence
    • a deeper understanding of life

    These were improvements the people concerned did not experience from sleep alone, and this reinforces in a practical way that CMR offers a different type of rest from sleep. In addition to good quality regular sleep, resting the mind in the waking state can improve our quality of life. The reality is, however, that most people are not aware of this, and therefore are unwittingly depriving themselves of a natural way to enhance their lives in terms of health and happiness.

    It’s possible to download the training for free here.

    Instructions

    • Sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths and relax.
    • Find your "Attention Comfort Zone"(ACZ). It is the area where your eyes rest naturally when you close them. Just close your eyes, let go off any control over eye and facial muscles and observe where they rest. ACZ will usually be in the general area right in front of your eyes.
    • Once ACZ is determined, do nothing aka just look at that area with "soft, restful, natural gaze"(with eyes closed). Let thoughts, emotions, sensations happen. Allowed to it happens what ever it happens. Do nothing, expecting nothing, encouraging nothing, resist nothing, analysing nothing.
    • When you realise that you are *engaged* in a thought (such engagement would make your eyes drift away from ACZ), just turn your awareness back to the ACZ and rest it there.
    • If a sensation in body, generated via an emotion or a physiological reason that is just too strong to be ignored, turn your awareness to it gently, and rest on it till it weakens or disappears. Then return to being aware of your ACZ.

    You close your eyes and 'look' (with eyes closed) where your eyes would naturally be in a resting/sleeping position. As thoughts, images or chatter enter your mind your eyes naturally start wandering, as you notice this you disregard it and bring your eyes back to the natural resting position (where they would be if you were sleeping). Putting your eyes in that "resting position" quiets your mind, while in this position you think of and focus on nothing.

    Lots of stuff will come up, negative, positive, images, incoherent chatter, in-depth thought, etc. If a very strong negative thought comes up repeatedly, you're encouraged to feel where you physically get the anger, dread, sadness, etc., and focus on it as long as needed and said feelings will subside.

    It's all about the eyes' position; your eyes will naturally look at or near the tip of your nose while you rest. They also suggest a 3 minute period to come out of it, where you slowly refocus your mind on your surroundings (hum of a fan, sound of your breath, squeak of a chair. Whatever sounds are happening you slowly get 'out' of their CMR state, they heavily suggest it's ideal that you slowly come out of it rather than just open your eyes and go about your day).